Pelicans toss combined no-hitter, beat Fireflies 5-0
First no-hitter for Myrtle Beach since 2012
COLUMBIA, SC - Four Myrtle Beach pitchers combined for a no-hitter on Wednesday night with a 5-0 win over the Columbia Fireflies. The no-hitter is the first since Nick Tepesch and Jimmy Reyes combined to no-hit the Wilmington Blue Rocks on May 19, 2012. With the win, the Pelicans have matched their season-long win streak at three games and moved to 20-23 on the season. After their first time being no-hit since 2017, the Fireflies have now dropped the first two games of the series and fall to 22-18.
DJ Herz, Jeremiah Estrada, Bailey Reid, and Danis Correa were the four pitchers that tossed a no-hitter for the Pelicans. Herz started the game and earned the first win of his career with a five-inning performance that included four walks and seven strikeouts. Estrada came on in relief and recorded a career-high-tying seven strikeouts through nine batters faced. Reid faced two batters with one walk allowed. Correa closed out the game with two strikeouts in the final inning. The group combined for 16 strikeouts through the Fireflies lineup.
On the hitting side, the Birds collected nine hits for the second night in a row. Fabian Pertuz (2-4, HR, 3 RBI) smashed his first home run of the season with a team-leading three runs driven in. Luis Verdugo (1-4, RBI, R) and Jonathan Sierra (1-3, RBI) also brought home runs for the Pelicans.
The Fireflies drew seven walks on the evening, with Maikel Garcia (0-1, 3 BB) picking up three. Herard Gonzalez (0-2, 2 BB) also walked multiple times during the game.
Starting pitcher Adrian Alcantara (2-3) took the loss after going five innings with two earned runs off five hits. Anderson Paulino and Nathan Webb finished the final four innings with a combined three runs allowed.
The Pelicans scored first in the second inning after Pablo Aliendo and Sierra both singled to lead off the frame. With Aliendo on third, Verdugo grounded out to a fielder’s choice at third which allowed Aliendo to cross the plate and put the Birds up 1-0.
Another run scored in the Pelicans’ half of the fourth inning with Matt Mervis knocking a one-out single to center field, and Aliendo drawing a walk to put two runners on. After a wild pitch from Alcantara moved both runners up, Sierra hit a sacrifice fly to center that gave Aliendo enough time to score and make the score 2-0 in favor of the visitors.
Without a hit, the Fireflies still threatened to strike the scoreboard in their half of the fourth. After the first batter was retired, Herz gave up a walk to Garcia and threw a wild pitch in the next at-bat that advanced him to second. After a second-straight walk to Juan Carlos Negret, both runners moved up a base when Herz balked during Brady McConnell’s at-bat to put two runners in scoring position. Herz went on to sit down McConnell and Omar Hernandez on strikes to leave the inning unharmed.
Both teams remained lock in a 2-0 Pelicans’ lead as Estrada entered the game out of the bullpen and put on a dazzling display of seven strikeouts through nine batters in the sixth and seventh innings before being pulled with two outs in the eighth.
During this time, the Pelicans put another run on the scoreboard in the seventh after Jordan Nwogu hit a one-out infield single to short. Nwogu moved to second on a Verdugo groundout, and Pertuz hit him in with a single to right field to extend the Pelicans’ lead to 3-0.
The final blow came in the top half of the ninth as Verdugo hit a soft line drive to right field for a two-out single. Pertuz followed with his first home run of the season to left-center field to break the game open at 5-0.
Correa entered the game for the Pelicans in the final frame and ran into a tough situation after walking McConnell and hitting Negret with a pitch to put two runners on the basepaths. After McConnell lined out to right field, Correa struck out the following two hitters to secure the first no-hitter in nine years for the Pelicans.
Myrtle Beach and Columbia will meet for game three of the series on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m.
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